Belfast Telegraph

No excuse for homophobia in football – Brighton boss Graham Potter

Brighton travel to rivals Crystal Palace on Monday evening.

Brighton boss Graham Potter has condemned homophobia (Anthony Devlin/PA)
Brighton boss Graham Potter has condemned homophobia (Anthony Devlin/PA)

By Ed Elliot, PA

Graham Potter says there is no excuse for homophobia in football ahead of Brighton’s derby clash with bitter rivals Crystal Palace.

Premier League clubs last weekend backed Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign in support of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender people in sport.

But the initiative was marred by alleged incidents of homophobic abuse, including at Brighton’s Amex Stadium where two visiting Wolves fans were ejected, arrested and later released pending investigation.

Seagulls boss Potter is braced for a hostile atmosphere at Selhurst Park on Monday evening but insists the rivalry between the two clubs does not justify supporters behaving in a discriminatory manner.

“Regardless of what type of game it is, it’s unacceptable,” Potter said of homophobia.

“If we want to do anything and if we want to change anything, football should be football for everybody, regardless of their ethnicity, their religious position or their sexuality.

“It’s sad that we’re even having the conversation.

“But you can see in many instances that that’s the world we’re in at the moment and football has to do its best to try and lead the way.”

Brighton and Wolves each condemned last Sunday’s alleged discrimination, with the clubs working in connection with Sussex Police following the incident.

It occurred on the same day Everton launched an investigation into reports of homophobic chanting aimed at Chelsea fans during last Saturday’s match at Goodison Park.

“In an ideal world you wouldn’t want that to happen or anything like that to be shouted,” added Potter.

“You hope that people come and they understand that it’s a game that both sets of supporters want to win badly, but it’s in a respectful atmosphere.”

PA

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